Obama now has a couple point bounce. Is it a reaction to the convention or to the relentless attacks on Sarah Palin? The race is still a lot closer than I thought it would be at this point, but I think it's also fair to say that the Republicans have some ground to make up.
What we have seen over the past five days is reprehensible and reflects the worst of both the new and old media. The story about Bristol Palin is meaningless. Everyone agrees that it's meaningless, but those with a vested interest in attacking her nevertheless are determined to make it one.
It's not about Bristol, they say, but whether a mother should be running for national office at such a sensitive time.
It's not about Bristol, they say, but in an astonishing catch-22, it's about Governor Palin's judgment in not appreciating how the media and the Democrats would go after her little girl.
It's not about Bristol Palin, they say, but whether John McCain adequately vetted her. Although if you think about it for a moment, the notion that he did not know about this is completely implausible.
It's not about Bristol Palin, they say, but about Sarah Palin's support for abstinence-only education. Of course, no one knows what the schools taught Bristol Palin or whether she didn't understand or have access to birth control (and, no, we have no right to know about that). No one imagines, for a moment, that, if Sarah Palin supported extensive sex-ed, Bristol's pregnancy would be relevant as reflecting on the failure of such programs.
It's not about Bristol Palin, they say, but about the fact that the evangelical Christian Sarah Palin doesn't have a perfect family and is, therefore, a hypocrite. (No, I can't parse that one, either.)
It's not about Bristol Palin, they say, but the fact that it wasn't immediately announced. Shame on the Palins for thinking they could have protected their daughters' privacy.
But, you know, they're right. It's about destroying Sarah Palin. A political scandal often does not have to be about anything real. People don't attend to them closely. All they have to do is get attention. People - particularily the type of people who are undecided - just know there's some type of unpleasantness about this or that.